Proposal Title

Calibrating My Compass: The Quest for Lesbian Futurity

Start Date

June 2022

End Date

June 2022

Abstract

If queerness is on the horizon, as Jose Esteban Munoz suggests, how do we know where the horizon is located? Can queer people traverse landscapes to move toward said horizon? Using the work of Elizabeth Freeman, Jack Halberstam and Heather Love this paper counters Munoz’s assertion “what we will really know as queerness, does not yet exist” to suggest historical queer counter-cultures provide markers and directions toward the horizon.

This paper explores depictions of lesbians to offer a directionality for Munoz’s horizon or what I am calling lesbian futurity. Where we go is inextricably linked to where we have been (materially and linguistically). To consider the future/futurity we must look back to accounts, archives, and lives that offer perhaps not a place, but a trajectory for queerness. As Ann Cvetkovich has asserted, many lives of lesbians have not been archived. By exploring practices of historical bodies, this paper considers how the queering of time and cultural normativities could be understood in the present to imagine a kind of liberation that does not assimilate within matrix culture

Bio

Sarah Cooper is a third year PhD Student in the RCID (Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design) at Clemson University. Her dissertation explores land influences on lesbian identity. She is also a Senior Lecturer of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies for the Women's Leadership Department.

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Jun 23rd, 10:00 AM Jun 23rd, 11:30 AM

Calibrating My Compass: The Quest for Lesbian Futurity

If queerness is on the horizon, as Jose Esteban Munoz suggests, how do we know where the horizon is located? Can queer people traverse landscapes to move toward said horizon? Using the work of Elizabeth Freeman, Jack Halberstam and Heather Love this paper counters Munoz’s assertion “what we will really know as queerness, does not yet exist” to suggest historical queer counter-cultures provide markers and directions toward the horizon.

This paper explores depictions of lesbians to offer a directionality for Munoz’s horizon or what I am calling lesbian futurity. Where we go is inextricably linked to where we have been (materially and linguistically). To consider the future/futurity we must look back to accounts, archives, and lives that offer perhaps not a place, but a trajectory for queerness. As Ann Cvetkovich has asserted, many lives of lesbians have not been archived. By exploring practices of historical bodies, this paper considers how the queering of time and cultural normativities could be understood in the present to imagine a kind of liberation that does not assimilate within matrix culture